Tintswalo Lodge | Gavin & Clayton

Gavin&Clayton-543 copyThis is the first time I have been asked to photograph a surprise wedding and it was also my first time photographing a gay wedding.  The venue was the Tintswalo Atlantic along Chapman’s peak, what a beautiful venue.

I met up with Clayton a few days before the wedding so he could run through all the timings, surprises etc.  Hopefully I get this all right, so basically Gavin’s brother had his wedding in Joburg at the end of March.  So Gavin & Clayton thought that it would be nice to have a big family get together in Cape Town after his brother’s wedding seen as most of the family were already in SA.  Then they decided why not have a surprise wedding at the same time as the family lunch.  There were about 26 guests who came down to CT and all they knew was that there was going to be a family lunch at Tintswalo.  Gavin & Clayton had booked out the whole lodge for the wedding.

They had a cake made by Charly’s Bakery and when they heard about what they wanted to do they asked them if they could film it for their reality show “Charly’s Cake Angels”.  So now you can imagine, there is a film crew around, I am taking the photo’s, decorations need to be put up while guests are eating their lunch, how do you make this a surprise!!!!

So the story and the day kind of went like this.  The guests arrived at the lodge and had to leave their cellphones in a basket because Gavin and Clayton didn’t want them taking pics and putting them up on Facebook just yet.  So this odd request to leave cellphones in the basket was followed by Clayton’s response: “This place is very funny about things like that”  I was hired as the family photographer for the day because it isn’t often that all the family are together in one place.  The guests then had a chance to have something to drink and chat and then Gavin had a little speech about what was going to be happening during the course of the day.  So Gavin had 2 announcements/surprises, the first one was that there was a special guest.  Then “aunty Kimmy” came walking out, Kimberly lives in the UK and when the guys had told her about the wedding  she also wanted to be there so they decided to make her one of the surprises.  Then the other surprise was that the guests would be staying over at the lodge that evening and Gavin and Clayton had made everyone a little toiletry bag for the night.  Then Melissa, the general manager at Tintswalo Atlantic, needed to chat to everyone.  She wanted to apologize to the guests beforehand and told them that the following day there was going to be a celebrity wedding and they would be setting the wedding up while they are having lunch and that the film crew were there to capture all of this for the celebrity couple.

Gavin and Clayton wanted them to really annoy their guests to distract them from what was really going to happen so they told Melissa that they need to be in the way and annoying while they were putting up the decor etc. While everyone was eating they were putting things on the tables, putting flowers up in the trees, they had a band testing the instruments, testing the sound for a very long time and if one them had to say “testing” on the microphone one more time…………

So lunch was served and Gavin, Clayton and Troy(Gavin’s son) disappeared to get ready for their big moment.  Troy didn’t know what was going on but before the lunch Gavin sat down with him and told him the big secret.  While the boys were getting dressed, the guys from Charly’s Bakery brought the cake out but without the toppers.  I think at this stage people started to get an idea of what was going on.  When Gavin and Clayton were ready, they brought the cake toppers out and this was the real give away.  The band played “Ho hey” by The Lumineer’s and Troy, Gavin & Clayton walked out and everyone was extremely emotional.  They had a beautiful ceremony and everyone couldn’t stop crying.  They then cut the beautiful cake which tasted awesome by the way, I couldn’t stop eating it!  Everyone was then told to make their way to the pool area where there were drinks, more food and awesome music.  I did some photos of the couple and that was the day for me, I am assuming there was quite a party that night.  I must say this was truly an awesome day for me, gorgeous venue and great people.

Thank you Gavin and Clayton for letting me document your day for you 🙂  You are such an awesome couple!


Service Providers

Wedding Coordinator:  Jody Delichte & Melissa du Rand from Tintswalo Atlantic

Decor & Flowers:  Garth Paton from Lush

Cake:  Charlys Bakery

Music:  Hot Shots & The Abbotts

Minister:  Ecclessia de Lange from IAM Ministries